At Large  March 14, 2024  Carlota Gamboa

Gagosian's Star-Studded Basquiat Opening and More News

© Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York. Photo: © Whitney Museum of American Art/Licensed by Scala/Art Resource, NY. Courtesy Gagosian

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Hollywood Africans, 1983. Acrylic and oil stick on canvas. 84 1/8 x 84 inches (213.5 x 213.4 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Douglas S. Cramer


Artists Withdraw From Barbican Unravel Show

In an ironic twist, the Barbican Center’s show, Unravel: The Power and Politics of Textiles in Art continues to lose artworks. There was a backlash when the Barbican backed away from hosting a lecture series by the London Review of Books when it became evident that the writer Pankaj Mishra’s talk would be focused on the Israel-Palestine conflict, according to The Guardian. In solidarity with the Palestinian people, collector couple Lorenzo Legarda Leviste and Fahad Mayet pulled their two loaned quilts by artist Loretta Pettway from the exhibition. Since then artists Yto Barrada, Diedrick Brackens, Cian Dayrit and Mounira al Solh have asked to be removed from the show as well. According to its website, the exhibition is intended to “challenge power structures and reimagine the world."

Courtesy Gagosian

Larry Gagosian and Jean-Michel Basquiat c. 1982

Star-Studded Opening for Gagosian’s LA Basquiat Show 

Almost 42 years after Jean-Michel Basquiat’s first exhibition in Los Angeles, at Gagosian, the gallery is staging a new exhibition, Made on Market Street, featuring work that Basquiat produced in Los Angeles. The Beverly Hills exhibition, which is on view through June 1, brings together roughly thirty paintings celebrating the New York artist’s stint in Venice, California between November 1982 and May 1984. This includes Hollywood Africans (pictured above), Horn Players, Museum Security (Hollywood Meltdown), Luna Park, and Year of the Boar. It’s the first time these works have been reunited since the original show from 1982, and given the timing of the March 7 opening, just a couple of days before the Oscars, the gallery was packed with Oscar-goers. Academy-award nominee Jeffrey Wright (who played Basquiat in Julian Schnabel’s biopic Basquiat) made an appearance, in addition to Melanie Griffith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jane Fonda, and Chris Rock.

Keith Piper’s Commission at Tate Britain Unveiled

Tate Britain has installed a new video work by artist Keith Piper in the room which once housed the museum’s upscale restaurant. The 22-minute piece was commissioned in response to outcry over a 55-foot mural painted onto the room’s walls in 1927. The work in question, “The Expedition in Pursuit of Rare Meats," by Rex Whistler, illustrates a hunting party and depicts the kidnapping and enslavement of a child. Rather than cover up the work, the founder of Blk Art Group settled on a different route when it came to the two-screen exhibit entitled “Vice Voce, ”telling The New York Times, “by leaving it up, it becomes an important witness to history, and by countering it, we learn things and we hear things, that we may not have heard before,” and that “that’s the important role of the arts.”


Keith Piper, Viva Voce, 2024

Commemorative Statue of Jane Austen Unnerves Locals

Winchester Cathedral has defended its decision to erect a life-size statue of the much loved Georgian-era author Jane Austen, despite a contentious local reaction. Anticipating that Austen’s gravesite, which is at the historic cathedral, will meet a similar fate as those of Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, and Marylin Monroe, one critic fears that the 931-year-old cathedral will become a “Disneyland.” Even the Jane Austen Society’s former chairman Elizabeth Proudman has spoken against the public monument, according to artnet News, claiming that Austen “despised publicity.” But the cathedral’s plans for the Martin Jennings commission remain. The commemorative statue of Austen was first announced in 2023 with an inauguration date slated for 2025, just in time to celebrate her 250th birthday. 

AI Used to Authenticate a Portrait by Albrecht Dürer

The Swiss company Art Recognition has used artificial intelligence to verify a possible portrait by German renaissance master Albrecht Dürer. The firm specializes in authenticating classical paintings using AI technology and has confirmed with 82% certainty that Dürer is responsible for the piece. CEO Carina Popovicic presented the Zurich-based company’s findings at a conference held on March 8 at TEFAF Maastricht, detailing the machine's extensive training process. As specified in Artmajeur, it was fed 144 original works by Dürer paired with a matching number of forgeries. To further substantiate the final number, handwriting analysis expert Castor Inglesias was consulted about the artwork’s signature. Since its establishment five years ago, Art Recognition has conducted over 500 evaluations, including Self-Portrait (1889) by Vincent van Gogh and the debunking of de Brécy Tondo.

About the Author

Carlota Gamboa

Carlota Gamboa is an art writer based in Los Angeles.

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